The JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation awarded J$10 million in scholarships to students at the secondary and tertiary levels, to help bridge the financial gap of these students and allow them to realise their dreams.
Some 30 secondary students, drawn from each parish in Jamaica, were awarded J$60,000 each, totalling J$1.8 million, to cover the cost of tuition and school-related expenses.
These scholarships were presented in recognition of JMMB Group’s 30th anniversary, and serve to honour the memory of the late co-founder of JMMB, Joan Duncan, whose dream was to empower ordinary Jamaicans to access opportunities to better themselves, their families and communities.
Additionally, 17 students enrolled at a local university, pursuing a range of degree programmes (with the exception of medical sciences, dentistry, architecture, engineering and law), have received J$6.8M in new scholarships, for their final year of enrollment.
The foundation also disbursed J$1.4 million to existing tertiary scholarship recipients. The funding will cover the cost of tuition, books and/or other expenses.
The competitive application process saw over 600 applicants being shortlisted and interviewed, with the recipients being selected based on their financial circumstances; academic performance; and involvement in extra-curricular activities or voluntary work in their schools and or communities.
Speaking at the recent award ceremony held for the secondary school recipients, at the Terra Nova Hotel, Patricia Sutherland, chairman of the foundation, encouraged the students to “believe in yourselves and the power of choice, to unlock your inner greatness, by making positive choices that will transform your lives and make your parents proud.”
She also shared words of wisdom to the parents and guardians, reminding them to, “listen keenly to your children and be an ever-present support system for them.”
In addition to the financial support provided by the foundation, all scholarship recipients will have the opportunity to participate in online training sessions led by the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation team.
Kim Mair, CEO of the foundation, shared, “We believe in the holistic development of individuals and, as such, we want to provide our scholarship recipients with the tools they need to transform their lives, build healthy relationships, shift their mindset and unearth their greatness. As such, our transformational training will cover: self-awareness; reflection paradigm-shifting; critical-thinking; and visioning, among other areas.”
“Our tertiary beneficiaries are also offered career guidance, through an initiative dubbed the ‘Leadership, Involvement and Innovation, Financial Literacy & Education (LIFE) Accelerator’ programme,” Mair added.
This is a year-long programme, designed to assist budding professionals to better transition to the world of work and tap into the skills and mindset needed to live purpose-driven lives, by offering professional development sessions, mentorship and coaching, as well as facilitating community involvement and transformational training.
The scholarship programme is a part of the foundation’s mandate to support youth and nation-building, through education and transformational training.
Over the last five years, the JMMB Joan Duncan Foundation has awarded over J$50 million in scholarships to approximately 250 students at primary, secondary, tertiary and special needs institutions.